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Preparing for a PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by moonphase9, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    Hi all. I've worked in secondary schools for eight years and now I'm going to do a PGCE. I would like to get some preparation done before I start as I know the PGCE year can be challenging.

    Currently I'm working in a secondary SEN school.

    I thought maybe I could reacquaint myself with the mainstream curriculum by reading up on some standard literature students tend to study (i.e. Romeo and Juliet.)

    Is there anything else I can do? Thinking back to your pre-PGCE days, is there any prep that served you well or that in hindsight you think could have been useful?

  2. 1FineDay

    1FineDay New commenter

    Will you be starting a PGCE for primary or secondary?

    Honestly, as an MFL trainee teacher currently doing a PGCE, I have to say that the experience of working as a TA previosuly gave me a false sense of confidence. The switch from supporting to leading is quite sobering, so I would see if there is any extra-curricular activities you could get involved with where you are able to lead the students in some way. That would be my advice - focus on gaining a 'teaching persona' - it will make the first few weeks of placement that bit smoother.

    Regarding your studies - you can start thinking about areas of education that interest you: special needs education, cross-curricular learning, 'the learning brain', pedagogical methods, etc. The theories behind education - Vygotsky's zone of proximal development is one that springs to mind as quite useful. I can recommend Paul Dix - 'When the Adults Change' (good for behaviour management) and anything by Bill Rogers(books or videos online) and teachers.tv.

    A lot of the pre-course tasks focussed us on explaining why our subject matters, why it should be in the curriculum, what current issues face teachers, etc.
    moonphase9 and pepper5 like this.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Do a subject knowledge/skills audit (you'll have to do this anyway once the course starts).

    Look at the example exam papers and mark schemes for GCSE and AS/A level (e.g. AQA, Edexcel, OCR...) to see what texts are on them, and what skills students need (comprehension, selecting quotes, analysing texts for language and structure, evaluating, comparing...) - KS3 aims to build up these skills.

    In Lit you'll be teaching modern texts (novel/drama), Shakespeare, poetry, 19th century. What are your weaknesses? What can you do to improve them?

    For Lang (and Lit) check your subject terminology.

    The Lang and Lit GCSEs are all about technique, effect, context... The students have to learn quotes from all texts, including the 15 or 16 poems. It's challenging!
    Stiltskin, moonphase9 and pepper5 like this.
  4. moonphase9

    moonphase9 New commenter

    Thank you both :)

    I'm applying for secondary.
  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    As @blueskydreaming says.

    If you've not done it for a while, reacquaint yourself with academic writing as you'll be doing a few pieces of assessment. Find out what referencing system they use and know how to use that for example.
    blueskydreaming likes this.

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